It's one of those days, one where Taehyung's heart breaks into a million pieces. He holds her hand and watches as her mother pitifully begs her daughter to be saved. The doctor says the final line that brings out a fresh set of tears.
"Time of death 11:19"
"No please no."
She clutches on to the girl's hand and leans over to move her hair back, kissing her forehead.
"Please wake up." She whispers and Taehyung sighs.
The heart monitor which drags it's long beep sound picks up as soon as Taehyung waves his hand.
He shouldn't do it but he's soft and hates seeing mothers cry. It hurts him too much and he can already feel the pain growing in his left arm. Being the god of death is never easy. Taehyung lifts his shirt sleeve to see the scar appear. It burns his skin and the pain is unbearable. He screams in agony, his voice falling on deaf ears. The machine picks up the girl's steady heart beat and the mother lifts her head from her daughter's face. She covers her face in surprise as she watches the monitor indicating that her daughter's heart is beating again. She screams for a nurse frantically, the room suddenly turning into chaos with doctors and nurses rushing in. Taehyung tries to move away clutching on to his hand that burns when he feels a presence. He knows who it is before he can turn around.
He sighs again, the pain will be bearable compared to what he has coming next.
"Taehyung what did you do?"
He groans ignoring his brother but Namjoon grabs him by the shoulder and pushes his way out of the hospital room.
"Hyung it's fine." He whispers back wincing when Namjoon touches the delicate scar. It's not the first time Taehyung scarred himself by giving life and it probably won't be the last.
Namjoon kisses his wound, slightly lessening the pain, Taehyung smiles gratefully.
"I couldn't help it. I couldn't bear to watch her cry like that. She only has her daughter..."
They both watch the doctors and nurses work frantically to save the five year old girl.
"We should go." Namjoon says wrapping an arm around his shoulder.
Being the god of death is difficult, especially when Taehyung was a god that had too much empathy. It's always difficult taking away the souls of people no matter what age or race it always hurt Taehyung. He tries as much as possible to make it painless for them holding them, gently in his arms as he carries them until they fade into golden light. Children are particularly hard on Taehyung and most often than not he's risked his life to save them. The scars that grace his arms and his torso are the memoirs of people he saved, gave a second chance too. He remembers each one, precious bits of himself that he has given out. With every second chance Taehyung grew weaker, the scars burning more passionately marring his tanned skin. His Hyung had far less scars than him, times when he had accidently hurt humans. Namjoon would weep breaking down into a flood of tears and Taehyung would comfort him, holding him until the tears subside.
It's night time when he reaches home, the scar still burns and exhausts him more than usual. He lies in bed planning to rest, listen to some music perhaps a jazzy blues track. He's about to pick a record from his shelf when he hears a tinkling laughter. He gently puts the record back in it's place and peeks outside the window. That's when he sees him. Taehyung has heard much about the moon god, but they've never met. He and his brother, the sun god never attended the extravagant banquets held by Seokjin, the god of love. Taehyung watches as Jimin strolls through the trees in the direction of the woods behind his home. He wonders what the moon god is doing in his side of the woods, most gods avoid Taehyung's home in fear that he might take away their souls and powers. He slips on his cloak and opens the door.
"No Soonshim, Daddy isn't going for a walk." He pets his fluffy white dog and she whines against his leg. He closes his door silently, and treads through the woods. Jimin glows leaving behind rays of golden light and Taehyung hides behind the trees peeking with his fingers. There's song that rings in Taehyung's ears, it's haunting and beautiful. He continues to follow Jimin who sings, dancing away. Taehyung tries to decipher the words but he doesn't quite understand. They've walked quite a distance far more than Taehyung had ever ventured into when they come to a lake. The water is crystal blue and serene. Taehyung watches horror struck as Jimin strips himself of the robe he wears.
Taehyung quickly turns away shutting his eyes with his hands but he turns back around. Jimin walks towards the lake, at first the water barely touches his ankles but as he walks, the water swirling around him Taehyung watches in fascination. Jimin's skin glows bright and gold, he continues walking steadily towards the centre of the lake. The song on his lips fades with each step and Taehyung stays silent watching Jimin's head disappear under the dark murky waters. He waits and waits, the moonbeams that surrounded Jimin had followed him into the water and Taehyung was left in the dark. He wondered if the moon god had drowned. Impossible. Gods didn't succumb to human traits. They weren't killed by the natural forces and besides Jimin was a moon god, he could control the tides of the mighty sea, a lake shouldn't be a hindrance.
He was about to turn back and head home when the strangest thing happens. Jimin bursts out from the water, his glistening moon beams lighting the entire forest in golden light. Taehyung wraps his cloak firmly around himself hiding from Jimin's eyes. Jimin floats in the air flying out of the water and rising far above the clouds. Taehyung reaches out to touch the moon beams that follow him and they tickle his skin. He conjures a glass mason jar to store the light and shutting the lid firmly he treads back home. Soonshim wakes up from her slumber, perking her ears in interest when she sees him. She jumps on him standing on her hind legs curiously sniffing at the jar. Taehyung holds it high above her head.
Soonshim calms down and Taehyung places the jar on his nightstand. The moon beams glitter about lighting up his room. He reaches over to grab a record from his shelf, he picks out Nat King Cole's album and the sounds of his favourite piece "unforgettable" plays in the background. Taehyung closes his eyes and lets the album play until the sun rises in the east again.
Taehyung glances at the jar that now stands empty and void of the light. Perhaps the light has faded with its distance from the moon god. Taehyung touches the glass tapping gently on it before Soonshim awakes with resounding woofs. Taehyugn chuckles reaching over to grab the dog food from the cabinet, filling her bowl to the brim. He waits till she's finished to take a stroll across the village market before he heads to his daily duties of collecting souls. There's a strong loud knock on his door and Taehyung grins. It is probably the human boy, Taehyung's only mortal friend, Jungkook. The boy delivers milk and newspapers. Soonshim barks, wagging her tail at the prospect of meeting her friend. Taehyung lets himself become visible before opening the door and greeting Jungkook with a bright smile.
Soonshim rushes out just moments after Jungkook is able to place the glass bottles of milk away from the dog's reach. Jungkook falls back at Soonshim's weight but he laughs patting her head.
"Hello girl. How are you today?" He says a bright smile on his face. Taehyung smiles. Jungkook was a kind human, one who didn't ask many questions about why Taehyung lived alone with his dog at the edge of the forest. They make small talk and Jungkook swears he's seen mermaids in the river nearby. Taehyung nods, Jungkook gives a convincing argument. The truth is Taehyung knows. He's friends with some of them. They hide from human eye fearing that they'd be put in display boxes, hunted and killed. But Jungkook seems innocent enough merely fascinated by the existence of the creatures of the waters. He calls them beautiful, Taehyung would say they were cunning and vicious but they could sing and sang they did extremely well. He'd been to one of their evening performances, once an year the mermaids paid homage to the god of the sea. They'd sing voices in multitudes all in unison, beautiful and haunting. They were friendly with Taehyung. He'd saved one of them from the nets of the fisher folk. They were in debted to him.
Jungkook realises that he'd spent far too long discussing the mythical creatures and he rushes off to his bicycle waving good bye as he runs. Taehyung chuckles, as he begins his routine of helping souls pass on to the other world.
It's dusk when Taehyung returns home, the jar is lit up with moon beams. Taehyung looks at it amused at how the little specks of light know the times of the day. He takes the jar outside opening it up and watches as the moon beams glitter and cling on to bees that hover about. The bees fly around Taehyung in a dance, the winds gently lapping at his hair. He wonders if Jimin will return again to the lake. As the sky grows darker he sees him and yet again Taehyung hides.
He shoos the bees away but they follow him persistently. Jimin sings, his voice is beautiful and magical far more than the voices of the mermaids Taehyung thinks.
He treads lightly following the god.
Jimin turns around suddenly and Taehyung covers himself with his invisibility cloak. He looks about suspiciously but continues to walk towards the lake. Taehyung is more careful as Jimin stands near the bank of the lake.
"I know you are there." His voice calls out and Taehyung freezes.
Surely Jimin can't see him.
"I can't see you but I know you are there."
Jimin looks about and Taehyung hopes the moonbeam bees stop hovering around him.
Jimin plants his hands on his hips. He waits till Taehyung responds but he stays quiet and hidden. Jimin sighs frustrated and steps into the water. There's something wrong, something terribly dark and awful in the air. Taehyung can sense it, a part of the underworld. He shivers wondering what has happened. He's one of the few gods that can sense the presence of the demons, as he often drifted between earth and the underworld. It was not a pleasant place, the underworld: it was filled with fire and brimstone and creatures dark and wild, who'd claw out your eyes and consume human souls. Some times a human would summon them and the demons would be stuck on earth roaming around freely, leaving plague, death and destruction in it's path. But this force felt stronger than a demon it was a beast of some kind. That's when Taehyung sees the serpent emerge from the depths of the lake, it's teeth baring open ready to snap at Jimin. It's almost instinctive that Taehyung drops his cloak and rushes towards the demon serpent. He jumps on to his head, wrestling with the creature as it struggles to get Taehyung off. Jimin screams as the serpent bites into Jimin's thigh. Taehyung has never killed, although he has the power to, he's never harmed anyone unless they were already close to death and it's strange when he uses his godly strength to over power the demon. His fingers turn warm and they burn through the rough scales of the demon. The serpent struggles, making a screeching noise as Taehyung continues to press his hands on his body. The serpent lets Jimin fall from his mouth landing softly with a thud on the edge of the lake shore. Taehyung grapples with him and his energy drains low as he continues to fight. But the creature burns under his touch turning into a molten black liquid char that smells of burnt rubber. Taehyung sighs of relief when all that's left is a whiff of smoke where the giant serpent was.
Taehyung wades through the water reaching over to Jimin. Jimin lays hurt, blue blood dripping out of his thigh. Taehyung lifts him up in his arms and carries him home. Taehyung's lays him on his bed and runs into his kitchen, Soonshim following at his heels. He opens his cupboards searching for medical herbs he stores. He grinds them using his mortar and pestle. He cleans Jimin's wounds with a warm wash cloth and gently pours the paste over the garish wounds. He groans lightly, the skin cooling off with the herbs. Taehyung is exhausted and he uses the last bits of his energy to heal the god before he himself falls unconscious on the bed.
When Taehyung stirs awake he hears loud barking and a warm giggle. He shakes his head trying to wake himself up. Taehyung follows the sound of the voice and he finds Jimin petting Soonshim. He laughs as the dog runs to fetch toys, a sign that Soonshim is fond of the moon god.
"Oh you're awake." Jimin whispers.
Jimin blushes brightly as he says
"Thank you, for saving me."
Taehyung just smiles.
"I don't even know your name..."
"Taehyung... The god of ..."
"Death?" Jimin asks.
Taehyung nods feeling afraid.
"You're not what I expected..."
His door bell rings and Taehyung stands perplexed. Should he let Jungkook see Jimin?
Soonshim runs to the door and barks and howls scratching at the wood and waiting till Taehyung opens up.
"There's a human outside your door." Jimin says breaking him from the trans.
"Do you mind if I open the door?"
"It's your door. I don't mind."
Taehyung vaguely recalls how other gods hate humans, calls the "wasteful disgusting creatures". But Jimin seems to not hate them. At least for now.
Jungkook stands outside with his milk and newspapers.
"Oh." He says his eyes wondering towards Jimin.
"Hey Jungkook." Taehyung greets.
Jungkook smiles and Taehyung shuts the door behind him hiding Jimin and Soonshim from view.
"Is he your boyfriend?" Jungkook asks raising his eyebrows lewdly.
"Sure... It's alright you don't have to tell me... It's nice to see that you know some people other than me." Jungkook giggles. He pulls Taehyung into a hug.
"Congrats man." Taehyung stands awkwardly as Jungkook holds him.
"I'll leave you two to it." Jungkook says with a wink.
When Taehyung opens the door again Jimin smiles at him.
"You have human friends?"
"Um I guess?"
"You're not quite what I expected" Jimin answers amused.
Jimin stays the day, watching fascinated as Taehyung goes to shop at the local market interacting with humans. He holds Jimin by the hand buying fresh flowers from the old lady at the corner stand.
"For you." Taehyung whispers as he hands the bouquet of wild roses to Jimin. Jimin's face turns to surprise.
"For me?" He asks Taehyung, who nods amused at Jimin's reaction.
"It's beautiful. Thank you." He sniffs them breathing in the aroma of the fragrant flowers.
Taehyung buys him pastries from a bakery, Jimin bites into the soft flakes filled with lush and dreamy cream. Jimin moans eyes falling shut as he savours the delicious dessert. Taehyung laughs.
"You know I always thought humans were..." He waves his hand and Taehyung isn't sure what word he means but it's clear he has the general distaste for humans that was common among gods.
"But this... this is heaven."
Taehyung swirls Jimin around the floor of his living room.
Jimin laughs as Taehyung swirls him around.
"What is this?" He says face lighting up with delight.
"Dancing. I'm dancing with you."
The gramophone plays sultry soft music. Jimin pauses for a second.
"Wait. I have to go." Taehyung smiles turns to a frown.
It's then when it happens. When Taehyung's world stops for a moment. A moment where he feels elated, exuberant, a moment that will be etched in his mind for as long as he lives. Jimin stands on his tip toes and presses his lips on to Taehyung's. He doesn't respond at first initially shocked at what he does but he realises when Jimin pulls away. Taehyung pulls him and kisses him back. Jimin moans as he opens his mouth and lets Taehyung's tongue grapple with his own. It's a sweet moment and Jimin smiles as they pull apart.
Taehyung's heart falls as he's left alone with only Soonshim to keep him company.
When the sun rises again he sees him, Jimin is walking towards him. Taehyung smiles and when he is within hearing distance Taehyung says.
"Will you stay?"
There was once the god of the moon that fell in love with the god of death, a love that surpassed others, one that mermaids sung sonnets about. A love that
in night flowers and fireflies that lead the god of death to the moon god's heart.